Contactless power and data transfer

Instruments that require the presence of scanning devices (e.g. microwave radiometers) or for general applications that require the transfer of information and/or power between parts in relative motion the usage of contactless solutions to transmit both power and data between parts is a technology of interest particularly for applications requiring long life. Depending on the scan rate and the expected life of the instrument, up to few hundreds millions of cycles can be expected. Slip ring devices are generally used for these purposes, but they can be subject to wear, degradation of performance, noise, production of debris, and leading eventually to device failure.

A Technology Research activity is currently in place with SEA and ESTL (UK) to realize a prototype of a device capable to fulfil the following main requirements and to transfer both power and data between two rotating parts.

Objectives and main requirements:

The objective of this activity is to build a BBM and evaluate the performances of a long life contactless power and data transfer (LLCPD) device across a rotating scan mechanism.

The main requirements to be addressed are:

  • long life of the device (>130 million cycles);
  • efficiency of the power transfer (>95%);
  • performances during thermal cycling in vacuum (-40ºC / +60ºC);
  • low bit error rate (<10-9)
  • power transmitted 200 W
Section of the prototype of contactless power and data transfer device (SEA)

Last update: 7 May 2014

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